George Russell, Williams, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Russell says points are “definitely on the table” after narrowly missing Q3

2021 Styrian Grand Prix

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George Russell believes he has a realistic chance of ending Williams’ point-less run after qualifying 11th for the Styrian Grand Prix.

The Williams driver fell short of reaching Q3 by eight-thousandths of a second in today’s qualifying session. Russell said the result came despite the team prioritising its race pace over its one-lap performance.

“Obviously, we want to get into Q3, that would be a great achievement,” he said. “But so close, so satisfying when we get the maximum from it and we do this a lot. And even more so, we’re putting a lot more emphasis on the Sunday pace and just trying to really maximise the car for the race pace.

“So let’s see how it turns out tomorrow. I think we are there on merit. We’ve got a lot of quick guys behind – Ricciardo, Sainz, Vettel – but I’m looking forward and we want to score some points.”

Russell believes points are “definitely on the table” in the race. “We’re looking forward and we’ve gone down a slightly different direction with the set-up and it seems to be paying off.

“But we’ve only had a couple of races like this. We need to give it a bit more of a chance to see if this is real, throughout. But having that confidence in the car is a big thing and today’s a very calm day, not a single gust of wind or anything, I’m sure that that does also help us a lot. So far, so good.”

He is optimistic about the team’s race pace following Friday’s practice session. “Yesterday was probably the best Friday we’ve ever had,” he said. “Let’s see how that translates tomorrow.

“We did have a new set of hards for the race pace, which I think did account for something. We didn’t do the low fuel on the hards. So for sure, that accounted to something, but the car felt really good and we look strong and lets see, if it does translate into something tomorrow.”

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2021 Styrian Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Russell says points are “definitely on the table” after narrowly missing Q3”

  1. His best time was actually quicker than Stroll did in Q3, so he did the 10th time, close to 9 and 8… But 11th could be a lot better than 10th anyway. Big question is: he’s been in a position before to take good points… but bottled it. Will he again?
    I hope not

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      26th June 2021, 15:40

      he will need to get off the line well. He often tends to struggle with the launch and first few laps more than most drivers.

  2. Don’t get me wrong, I really hope he can get it in the points, but I really think he needs one or two retirements…. and more importantly needs to not lose a place on the opening lap.

    1. What are the chances of two races in a row where everybody finishes?! Especially if there’s the usual three-wide madness in the opening laps here. If he stays out of trouble, it seems Williams’ race pace has improved from embarrassing, so fingers crossed.

    2. Especially that last part yeah @eurobrun, Russel has had tardy starts losing him positions far too many times recently.

  3. Shut up, George, and get a good launch for once

    1. And save up to afford the Cursebreaker.

  4. Any news on Tsunoda? He clearly impeded Bottas, why is it taking the stewards so long? That would already put him inside the top 10. Also, if they don’t penalise Yuki (which would be inconsistent IMO) i wouldn’t bet against some retirements ahead caused by him)))

    1. @njoydesign Tsunoda now has a 3 place grid penalty. Russell will start 10th

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